New Orleans were the shock winners in Saturday's Mens DI club Round of 16 with a 59-8 pasting of the Potomac Athletic Club.
After being beaten soundly, twice, by Life in the South league, New Orleans have proved they belong with a defeat of the Chicago Griffins in Chicago in the Round of 32, and then a dumping of the top MARFU team in PAC.
"I guess we're still the new team and we surprised some people," said New Orleans Head Coach Trip McCormick. "Our guys just really played well. In our playoff wins our line speed on defense and our fitness have been really good. Both games were pretty tight until late. We're scoring a lot of points late which shows our fitness."
New Orleans was able to empty their bench, and while that's good news for them in terms of resting starters, McCormick said there was no dropoff in performance, and he expected as much.
New Orleans was led by No. 8 Nick Benvenutti, who was "a monster," said his coach. And the deep backs, including Dane Robertson, Pat Kennedy, Jeff Reuther, and Adam Ducoing, neutralized the PAC kicking game by counter-attacking and getting the team plenty of go-forward.
New Orleans will meet Metropolis, who put away Middlesex 45-21. In fact it was not that close, as Metropolis was up 26-0 before the first half was over.
"We kind of let off in the second half," said Metropolis Head Coach Nate Osborn. "It's strange, because a lot of the teams we play in DI read rucks and know if they're losing the ruck they pull out and play defense. But Middlesex sent a lot of guys to the ruck and that kind of threw us off a bit. But we came in with a good attitude. Last year when we made the final four we were jumping up and down and screaming. This time, the guys are looking at it as we've got a job to do. We're not really happy with our performance, especially in the second half, and we know New Orleans is a tough team with nothing to lose."